Summary: Second in a series on the life of David. This message focuses on our work.

Last week, we began a journey through the life of David and as we took a look at the process of Samuel anointing David to be the king of Israel we found that:

God chooses to give extraordinary power to ordinary people in ordinary positions in order to serve His purposes.

This week, we’re going to look at the last part of 1 Samuel 16. Go ahead and turn in your Bibles to that chapter and let’s read verses 14-23.

Read 1 Samuel 16:14-23

I’ve taken the title of my message this morning from those great theologians – Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. Their song – “Whistle While You Work” – represents what I think most of us would like our work to be like. At first, I thought I’d just read the words of the song to you, but I thought it would be even better for us to sing the song together. The words will be up on the screen and don’t forget to whistle or hum when you’re instructed to do so.

(Sing song – Can download Karaoke version from or iTunes))

Just whistle while you work (WHISTLE)

And cheerfully together we can tidy up the place

So hum a merry tune (HUM)

It won’t take long when there’s a song to help you set the pace

And as you sweep the room

Imagine that the broom is someone that you love

And soon you’ll find you’re dancing to the tune


When hearts are high the time will fly so whistle while you work

Just whistle while you work (WHISTLE)

Put on that grin and start right in to whistle loud and long

Just hum a merry tune (HUM)

Just do your best and take a rest and sing yourself a song


When there’s too much to do

Don’t let it bother you, forget your troubles,

Try to be just like a cheerful chick-a-dee

And whistle while you work (WHISTLE)

Come on get smart, tune up and start

To whistle while you work

Just whistle while you work (WHISTLE)

Put on that grin and start right in to whistle loud and long

Just hum a merry tune (HUM)

Just do your best and take a rest and sing yourself a song

Now wouldn’t it be great if all we had to do to make our work be enjoyable and fulfilling was to just sing a song. Unfortunately, as all of us know, it’s not quite that easy. So let’s spend a few minutes examining this passage of Scripture this morning to see what we can learn about making our work everything God wants it to be.

The interesting thing about this passage is that both main characters – Saul and David – have both been assigned what Eugene Peterson calls “kingwork”. If you go back to 1 Samuel 10, you can read about how Saul was anointed as the first king of Israel. In many ways that experience was very similar to the way David was anointed in the passage that we read last week in the first part of 1 Samuel 16. Samuel anointed Saul with oil and God’s Spirit came upon him in power.

But by the time the events in 1 Samuel 16 occur, something has happened to Saul. And so we find this great contrast between David and Saul. The Spirit of God has now departed from Saul’s life and it has been replaced by an “evil spirit from the Lord.” David, on the other hand, still has God’s Spirit resting on him and while he may not literally whistle while he works, he is at least making music.

So how do we make sure that our work is like David’s and not like Saul’s? How do we whistle while we work?


1. Connect my work and my worship

• God is a worker

At the very beginning of the Bible, God is first presented to us as a worker: In the beginning God created… God spends six days creating and then He takes a day of rest, laying the framework for the connection between my work and my worship.

And that description of God as a worker continues in the New Testament where Jesus describes His Father as a worker and also claims to be a worker Himself:

Jesus said to them, "My Father is always at his work to this very day, and I, too, am working."

John 5:17 (NIV)

Because one of the attributes of God is that He is a worker, it gives intrinsic value to the idea of work. If God is a worker, then work itself must be valuable. And it also means that when I engage in work that I am also engaging my life in one of the attributes of God. And that’s worship.

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